Rams 24, Ravens 21: Questions answered Thursday night

Dilip Vishwanat

The St. Louis Rams had some ups and down in the preseason finale, but we did learn some thing about the team.

That's it for the preseason. The St. Louis Rams closed it out with a win, playing mostly second and third team players. So what did we learn in Thursday's game? Let's go back and look at the question posed prior to kickoff to see if we got some satisfactory answers ... and see what questions remain.

Will the tackling improve? It looked better in this outing. Official charting stats aren't out yet, but Baltimore's three plays that went for 20 yards or more didn't get any extra help from the defense. Of the starters that did play, I especially liked what I saw from T.J. McDonald and Janoris Jenkins.

Who will be the other starting safety? Les Snead answered that for us during the game. It's Rodney McLeod.

Who will be the starting left guard? That's still not clear. Chris Williams started there on Thursday. Shelley Smith started on the right side in place of Harvey Dahl.

Does Zac Stacy breakout? He finished the game with 37 yards on 11 carries. I felt like he looked a lot quicker and more agile than he has in previous work. The Vandy product also flashed some power on his goal line carry to give the Rams their first rushing touchdown of the season.

Benny Cunningham looked even better, though both played against backups. He had 76 yards on eight carries, including a 29-yard run that gave the Rams their longest play of the game.

Chase Reynolds added to the mix at running back. He ran the ball five times for 15 yards, but his real highlight came in the fourth quarter when he caught what would be the game-winning touchdown pass.

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Can someone stop all the misdirection? Baltimore's backups really didn't do much of this last night. The jury's still out on the overall ability of the defense to stop those kinds of plays.

Will the backup quarterbacks to anything to reassure us? Both quarterbacks had better nights. Kellen Clemens completed 13-of-18 passes for 188 yards. He brought on one of his two sacks himself in a classic coverage sack. Austin Davis was 6-for13, but also threw a pair of touchdown passes. Neither player was intercepted. So which one is the No. 2? I'd lean toward Clemens, but we'll have to wait for Fisher to make the call.

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